Panta Ray released their first EP, “Waiting on you” in 2018 with the assistance of artists such as Leon Bluer and Sitkah. The group (formed in 2016) have released a steady stream of tropical house-esque sounds. The duo have developed a core group of fans through their spacious but well bridged production and their whispy vocal guests seen through tracks like their sleeper streamer hit “Supreme”.
The 4-track EP begins with the eponymously named track, “Waiting On You” which begins with a flute melody, guitar strings and soft drums that blend beautifully together epitomising what the group’s soundscape is throughout the project. The introduction of the vocals (delightfully treated with a low-fi filter and a dash of reverb) help accentuate the relaxing and atmospheric production of the record.
“On This Skin” introduces a bouncy and light percussion overlaid with the hypnotising vocal sample stating (and you may have guessed) the titular cut, “This Skin, On This Skin”, the voice is almost robotic but cuts a fantastic presence across the marimba-esque melody and the wobbly bass patterns.
The EP then a sonic turn, with the live instrumentation evident from the beginning of “Eastside Love” as the duo introduce a guitar led melody courtesy of Leon Bluer. Sitkah blesses the record with her airy atmospheric vocals to evoke a summery seasonality to the track against the soft percussion. If Panta Ray were to introduce the fantastically built up instrumentation into their live shows then I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t see them warming up some of the festival stages from June tol August.
Rounding out the final album track, “Hold” slows the pace of the EP, introducing a lot more space and soul to the project overall. Reintroducing Sitkah’s in a different fashion demonstrates the diversity of Panta Ray’s abilities which I’m sure will see them crossing into the realms of R&B and Soul soon enough. The saxophone riffs cutting within this track also is a new presence in the project, a welcome one at that too.
It’s an impressive, clean and neat introduction from the 2 (now 3 at time of writing) year old duo who have demonstrated a range of styles in a genre that can occasionally lack musical innovation, with the appropriate vocal guests RSVP-ing in 2019, we could see huge things from Panta Ray in 2019. Welcoming a range of unique and cultural instrumentation could help widen that gap between them and other aspiring producers but if “Waiting On You” is anything to go off, I imagine they’re here to stay.
Listen to the project below.